There’s No Party Like A Lavender Party!

Pride…just the word conjures up images of rainbows, confetti, and balloons, floats and drag queens and music and dancing. Parades. Happiness. Fun. Celebrating the diversity of our community with laughter and joy and the knowledge that this is our month to show the world who we are and how we fit into every aspect of society.

This year, the annual party that hails the start of the Twin Cities’ Pride season is going to be even bigger and better than ever as Lavender combines its iconic Summer of Pride Kickoff Party and sports-themed Score @ Pride into one giant celebration!

Lavender’s First Thursday event began in February of 2008 with an attendance of a mere 20—30 people. It quickly grew in both size and popularity, soon boasting of attendance of well over 150 attendees each month. The June First Thursday always coincided with the June Summer of Pride Kickoff Party which easily draws crowds of over 500 as a way of unveiling Lavender’s Pride issue and sashaying into the Pride season with style.

Score began some years later as a way of bringing together LGBTQ athletes and fans for a monthly, sports-centric happy hour, and eventually evolved into the once-per-year Score @ Pride in 2018 as one of the signature events of Lavender’s annual Summer of Pride slate of celebrations, held on the Thursday before the Twin Cities Pride Festival.

It gave the community a chance to see all of the options they had to participate in the sports of their choice with like-minded individuals in the LGBTQ community, with teams that were welcoming and inclusive in every way. It also gave the local professional teams, such as the Lynx, the Vikings, the Twins and the Wild a chance to show our community that they supported us and welcomed us with their Pride-themed swag and the various Pride nights that they sponsored throughout the summer.

Both events drew, and continue to draw, enthusiastic and loyal crowds, folks who always made room on their calendars for Lavender’s events, and both events were highly anticipated by Lavender readers as both a way to kick off the summer and a way to kick off Pride weekend in the Twin Cities.

This year’s super-sized event is slated to be held on June 1 at the Granada Theater—once an iconic theater borne of the silent film era and now transformed into a one-of-a-kind event venue along Hennepin Avenue in the fantastic Uptown neighborhood. The revitalized 1927 Churrigueresque theater will provide a unique space for attendees to enjoy a venue unlike any that Lavender has held the Summer of Pride events before. Attendees will be able to register for great prizes at the Lavender welcome table in the Uptown Lobby Bar and Restaurant before stepping into the theater itself which boasts a stunning curved midnight-blue ceiling soaring overhead to emulate a star-strewn night sky to enjoy a memorable and fun-filled evening.

With its convenient location to downtown as well as surrounding suburbs, the Granada Theater also offers ample parking opportunities at the Seven Points Parking Ramp (formerly the Calhoun Square ramp), metered street parking and other nearby ramps, ensuring attendees a number of ways of easily getting to Lavender’s Summer of Pride Kickoff Party and Score @ Pride.

Be prepared to enjoy delicious complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, chances to register to win great prizes and pick up fun swag and promotions, and to peruse tables from a dazzling array of tables staffed by representatives from local LGBTQ nonprofits, LGBTQ sports teams and organizations, and Minnesota’s professional sports teams.

Lavender’s Summer of Pride and Score @ Pride
June 1 • 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Granada Theater, 3022 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

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